You Know You Work At Greenlight Apparel When... July 30 2012

We’re not your average apparel company. Aside from doing things a little differently on the business side of things (e.g. donating 25% of our profits to causes we believe in like microfinance and education), we’re a fun-loving crowd with a propensity for causing a little bit of chaos (the good kind) whenever we hit the road for race expos or get together for late night merchandising sessions. Don’t tell us you’ve never sat in an office till 9 pm with a hang tag gun and thousands of shirts. No? Hm. Maybe that's just us. We’ll put it onto the list of “things that happen when you work at Greenlight Apparel.” 

 Curious to see what else is on that list? Well, lucky you, we've got it right here. Drumroll please. 

You know you work at Greenlight Apparel when:

  • You’ve had at least one inappropriate encounter with a mannequin at a race expo. Instead of helping you out of your accidentally awkward position, your co-workers stand around and laugh or fumble for their cameras so they can get documentation for the blog. 
  • You own a Momentum shirt. Possibly two. Ok, fine. Three. 
  • When you’re out with your friends you suddenly become really excited as you point at random strangers and say “That’s one of our shirts. See it? There’s another one. The US Half one, right there!? See it?!” 
  • You have race shirts from races you haven’t run. You spend a lot of time awkwardly explaining why you’re wearing a marathon finisher shirt for a marathon you didn’t even enter. 
  • The thought of assembling clothing racks fills you with dread. 
  • You’ve raced over to IKEA and completely cleaned them out of hangers. Twice. 
  • You can explain microfinance in 60 seconds or less.
  • You use the phrases “Corporate Social Responsibility” “Fair Trade” “Organic Cotton” “Microfinance” and “I want a donut” on a daily basis. 
  • You once valeted a U-Haul van because there wasn’t any parking in downtown Sacramento.
  • You can say things like “Remember that time we valeted the U-Haul?”
  • One of the suggestions of things to do at the office holiday party was skeet shooting. The other was going to the San Francisco Academy of Sciences. Diversity is important.
  • Working includes going to the House of Air in San Francisco and jumping on trampolines. It was for a photo shoot. Honest. 
  • You are a walking encyclopedia of races around the country. 
  • You post funny dog pictures on the company Pinterest page even though they have nothing to do with running, athletic apparel, or social justice. You may or may not have also posted a video of a duck running. 
  • At race expos, you spend the entire day in the convention center and still have no idea where anything is.
  • While manning the storefront at the Costco roadshow, you make friends with all of the free food sample vendors. Immediately. 
  • You always have to explain where Fremont is in relation to San Francisco.
  • You’ve received at least one lecture on why eating sugar is really bad for you and why you should cut it out of your diet. You went for a week and then gave up. It’s important to be healthy, but after running 26.2 miles, nobody should deprive themselves of a donut. Nobody. 
  • You get to go to really amazing places like Uganda and meet with wonderful people doing incredible things to end poverty, fight injustice, and empower individuals around the world. You’re really happy to be a part of that. 
  • You like donuts. A lot.

Adventures in Costco-land December 23 2011

We've all been in a little bit of a frenzy these past few weeks. Why, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. It's because we totally launched our Greenlight Apparel retail line in three Bay Area Costco stores! For the past two weeks we've had a roadshow going on in the San Francisco, Mountain View, and Danville stores and it has been all hands on deck.

After helping Perry out with a photo shoot in the Berkeley hills on Friday (It was beautiful and I learned how to use a reflector to bounce the sunlight. Actually, it was mostly me holding it at random angles and Perry having to come over every five minutes to adjust it. Also, I almost fell off a hillside. So all-in-all, a pretty typical morning for us). Anyway, after "helping" out, I hopped onto BART (yay public transportation) and headed to the Costco in San Francisco to keep tabs on everything and make sure the display stayed pretty.

Stepping into the Costco it was so amazing to see the Greenlight logo from afar as I caught my first glimpse of the signage hanging above our display racks. Two snazzy looking mannequins were placed in front of the racks with crisp, clear photos hanging above rows of zip t's, jackets, and--my favorite--the Momentum long-sleeved shirts. I'm trying to be humble here, but it looked so awesome. Good job, team.

With the flurry of Costco shoppers, the set-up definitely needed some periodic love so I spent the day rearranging hangers, sorting sizes, and just talking to people. I like to talk so I was happy as a clam (weirdest. expression. ever.)  answering people's questions and taking the opportunity to tell everyone about Greenlight Apparel. I got a lot of satisfaction out of telling people the item of clothing they were holding was made from recycled plastic bottles, but not as much satisfaction as telling them that 25% of our profits go to education and microfinance programs.

I was wearing the Greenlight Momentum shirt (think Snuggie comfort level meets hipster yoga look) and everyone kept complimenting me on the shirt. It went to my head and I haven't taken it off since. I'm wearing it right now. I wore it yesterday and the day before and if I didn't need to wash it, I'd wear it again tomorrow. We've had people tell us they would like a shirt in every color and I'm right there with them. In fact, we probably need to get on that soon or everyone is going to start thinking I only own one shirt (Not true. I own at least three).

When I got tired of trying to see how many ways I could creatively display the tank top and t-shirt boxes (pyramid displays are so hot right now), I wandered around Costco trying free samples and intermittently texting everyone I know. Unfortunately for all of my friends and family, I have unlimited texting and can barrage everyone incessantly with illuminating questions and commentary like...

"On a scale of 1-10, how badly do you think we need a $350 blender? It's on sale at Costco."(Response: It better make the best smoothie of my life)

"Just undressed the female mannequin. Lot of snickering going on." (Response: Wait. Where are you?)

"Guy just walked past me with nothing but chocolate and alcohol in his cart." (Response: Marry him)

"I just tripped over the mannequin while trying to help a cute guy. I fail at life." (Response: Did he at least help you up?)

While staying on your feet all day in Costco isn't an experience I'd want to live every day, I really enjoyed getting to meet with people and hearing their feedback on our apparel, our set-up, and our company philosophy. Don't roll your eyes, but I actually had a lot of fun helping people pick out styles and sizes and it was incredibly encouraging to see how excited people got when I told them about our work with the Women's Microfinance Initiative or the One World Children's Fund. So many of you had your own stories and ideas on how to give back and I was really touched and inspired to hear all of your thoughts!

So, for those of you who were able to come see us in Costco, thank you for your continued support. You rock! For those of you who we met for the first time, it was great to meet you and thanks for taking the time to learn a little more about us! And for those of you scattered across the globe, we'll have our online store up and--wait for it, wait for it--running soon (Get it?).